Rathlyn O’Byrne and Killybegs

Rathlyn O’Byrne is an island and lighthouse just off a headland, and to get there in good weather you can go quite close to some spectacular cliffs.

The coast approaching Malin Mor and Malin Beg
The coast approaching Malin Mor and Malin Beg
Looking back from near Rathlyn O'Byrne
Looking back from near Rathlyn O’Byrne

We rounded Malin Mor and Malin Beg headlands, going through the sound inside the island in sun and light winds. As soon as we rounded the point into Donegal Bay the wind went easterly 5 and the sea became choppy, to remind us of what sailing is usually like. Double reefed main and hard on the wind for several hours.

Round Britain 2013 016
Heading for our berth between trawler and square rigger

Into the very well sheltered fishing harbour of Killybegs, the biggest lander of fish in Ireland, where we were directed to a trawler dock, and moored on piles using our new fender board, between a trawler and a Dutch square rigger. Long nylon lines for the 4.5 metre tide.

Sprinmg Fever alongside the dock in Killybegs
Spring Fever alongside the dock in Killybegs

There were huge trawlers in Killybegs, some with suspiciously Spanish sounding names and Irish flags, maybe with foreign owners manipulating the EU fisheries rules. They work September to April, and not in the summer, because of restrictions on their North Atlantic fishing grounds, and so are now laid up, with painting the biggest activity.

Only one other visiting yacht,  which left as we arrived. Passers by stopped for a chat, including the commodore of the local sailing club who offered us a mooring (which we turned down because we needed to be on the dock for diesel.) Shopping and take-away pizza. Fuel truck booked for 0900.

Passage notes: 29 miles, 8 hours, max wind E5, min S 2, visibility good then moderate when wind went east.

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